Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems solitary, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes solid or spongy, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath hairy at summit, throat, or collar, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades disarticulating from sheath, deciduous at ligule, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Ligule present, Ligule a fringe of hairs, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicl e, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence a panicle with narrowly racemose or spicate branches, Inflorescence a panicle with digitately arranged spicate branches, Inflorescence with 2-10 branches, Inflorescence branches 1-sided, Inflorescence branches paired or digitate at a single node, Inflorescence branches terminating in bristle or point, Rachis angular, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 1 fertile floret, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating below the glumes, Spikelets secund, in rows on one side of rachis, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes distinctly unequal, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glume equal to or longer than spikelet, Glumes keeled or winged, Glume surface hairy, villous or pilose, Glumes 1 nerv ed, Glumes 3 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma 1 nerved, Lemma body or surface hairy, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea longer than lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Ecology

Associations

Foodplant / feeds on
ascocarp of Buergenerula spartinae feeds on Spartina maritima

Foodplant / pathogen
ergot of Claviceps purpurea var. spartinae infects and damages live ovary of Spartina maritima

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Wikipedia

Spartina maritima

Spartina maritima (Small Cordgrass) is a species of cordgrass native to the coasts of western and southern Europe and western Africa, from the Netherlands west across southern England to southern Ireland, and south along the Atlantic coast to Morocco and also on the Mediterranean Sea coasts. There is also a disjunct population on the Atlantic coasts of Namibia and South Africa.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing 20-70 cm tall, green in spring and summer, and turning light brown in autumn and winter. The leaves are slender, 10-40 cm long, and 0.5-1 cm broad at the base, tapering to a point. It produces flowers and seeds on all sides of the stalk. The flowers are greenish, turning brown by the winter.

Hybridisation and decline

When the related American species Spartina alterniflora (Smooth Cordgrass) was introduced to southern England in about 1870, it hybridised with S. maritima to give the hybrid Spartina × townsendii. This then gave rise to a new allotetraploid species Spartina anglica (Common Cordgrass), which is much more vigorous, and has now largely ousted S. maritima from much of its native range in western Europe.

References

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